Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Tuesday named his preliminary list of 23 players to represent Spain in the forthcoming European Championships where they will try to defend the title the Spanish won in 2008 and in 2012.
The coach named two debutants. Real Madrid winger, Lucas Vazquez and Atletico Madrid midfielder, Saul Niguez, but there is no place for controversial Chelsea striker Diego Costa nor Arsenal midfielder, Santi Cazorla or the in-form Fernando Torres.
Apart from the two debutants there are few surprises, with 35-year-old striker Aritz Aduriz, who finished the season with 36 goals in all competitions, named among the strikers.
Del Bosque explained his decision to leave Costa out by saying the striker had a physical problem and he didn’ t want to take risks with half-fit players, as he did with Costa in the disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign, when Spain failed to qualify out of the group stage.
The squad starts work on May 23rd, but Del Bosque won’ t be able to work with all of his players until June 4th, given that Atletico and Real Madrid play the Champions League final on May 28th.
Meanwhile players from Barcelona and Sevilla and other clubs abroad who are playing in Cup finals on May 22nd will not be available until May 28th, just a day before the Spanish have a preparation game against Bosnia.
Del Bosque faced a similar problem two years ago when Atletico and Real Madrid again played in the Champions League final ahead of the 2014 World Cup and in order to cope with the absence of key players, he has also named a further 11 who will train with the squad and who could play in warm-up games.
Among those named are young Real Sociedad striker Mikel Oyarzabal, Arsenal’ s Hector Bellerin and Athletic Club Bilbao forward, Inaki Williams.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, David De Gea, Sergio Rico
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Juanfran, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta
Midfielders: Mikel San Jose, Bruno Soriano, Koke, Saul,Thiago, David Silva, Lucas Vázquez, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabrigas, Andres Iniesta, Isco
Forwards: Nolito, Pedro Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata, Aritz Aduriz
Sergio Asenjo, Paul López, Hector Bellerín, Diego Llorente, Mere, Jonny, Pablo Fornals, Asensio, Denis Suárez, Inaki Williams, Mikel Oyarzabal